Last week, Pinterest made the change to stop allowing affiliate links in pins. This was a rude awakening to those who were pumping rstyle links into their pins. I definitely sympathize with the bloggers who were affected here. Losing any amount of your income sucks. However, there are a couple of things we can learn from this happening.
The number one and main thing is: don’t put all of your eggs in one basket. Making a lot of money in one place is not a bad thing at all, but if it’s the only place you are making money, it can be risky. A simple policy change by a social network was absolutely devastating to many bloggers’ incomes.
This is one of the main reasons I encourage diversification of your income when it comes to blogging. Once you start making decent money in one place, try to branch out and add other income streams.
In this case, the bloggers could have spent more time trying to build their blogs, where they could also be putting their rstyle affiliate links and other links. Additionally, with more blog traffic and engagement, they could have added sponsored posts to their blog to boost their income stream.
The second major thing that can be learned from this change from Pinterest is to be very careful relying too heavily on something that you don’t own. These bloggers don’t own Pinterest, just like I don’t own Twitter or Google. I do enjoy traffic from these places, but I am aware that one change from either of them could stop traffic from those sources at the drop of a hat.
For this reason, I encourage you to collect emails and build your email list.
This may sound like an odd idea for everyday bloggers, but it really isn’t strange. Everyone uses email and if you give people something unique and interesting for being on your email list, they will love it! This doesn’t mean you have to send out emails to your list every week or anything. Just something every now and then to keep things interesting. The main thing here is that you have a way to contact your readers that no one can take away from you. Your email list is yours. You can take it from email service to email service and the list remains your own.
This is also a huge reason why I encourage bloggers to set up their own self-hosted WordPress instead of using a free service. Blogs on Blogger have been shut down for a simple policy violation that the blogger knew nothing about. Poof, they are gone forever. When you have a self-hosted blog, that can’t happen.
There’s a reason why I preach the things that I do (don’t put all your eggs on one basket, don’t rely on things you don’t own, diversify, be adaptable) and this change by Pinterest is a reminder as to why. I am not happy about the change, but it is definitely a validation that what I have been saying is indeed the right path to take when it comes to blogging and making money doing so.
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